Beyond Poutine: Montreal Must Eats

The past few years have taken us to Montreal on several occasions. The very first visit was in seeing  the dear son off for his first year at McGill University. We have been there a couple of times since and of course the last visit a couple of weeks ago for his graduation. Each visit has been unique in exploring this city to its best. Travelling to explore local eats and cuisine is always top on my mind and its always great to get back and document the same in the form of a blog post.

Montreal has lots to do and discover right from a walk upto Mt. Royal, the grand and lovely walk around cobblestone paved Vieux Montreal with the Basilica of Notre Dame standing tall and spectacular as ever in it’s glory, retail therapy down the bustling streets of Rue de St. Catherine’s, or perhaps if you are a culinary traveller like me that loves to browse around farmers markets around the city, like the ones at Marche Jean Talon and Atwater that host various local vendors of fresh produce, bakery goods, meats and cheese.

No matter what grabs your fancy, food plays a key role in exploring and getting to know a city well. Montreal too in its own way is a Culinary haven and the food scene seems to be exploding each year. Now while there is an addition to a must eat every minute and the options seem endless, I wanted to do a quick round up a couple of our favourite places that we discovered over the past few years in Montreal. Let me take you around some great places that I enjoyed eating at and hope you will strike these off your bucket list too.

 

  1. A Hidden Gem:  Tucked away in the interiors of Marche Jean Talon we discovered this small street style bistro that serves a great Effiloche du Porc. This is essentially pork shoulder cooked along with onions, spices, vinegar and brown sugar till the meat is almost frayed. (Pulled Pork) This is then slathered between bread buns or tacos. Just absolutely delicious ,if you are a Pork lover.

2. Reuben’s Deli & Steakhouse: Well  perhaps no trip to Montreal can be complete without the customary visit to Reuben’s, located in the heart of downtown, on Rue de St. Catherine’s. This place is an institution in itself serving up some brilliant Montreal smoked meat and they have a  great variety of steaks on their menu as well. The Deli has been around for over 40 years now and takes pride in serving hand carved meats since its inception. The Super Sandwich which is loaded with 10 oz of Montreal smoked meat is served between rye bread and mustard with a side of fries. And the Montreal style R.D. Ribeye is another classic at this place and has probably been around longer than any other dish in Montreal.

3. The Keg Steak house: This place needs little or no introduction being rated amongst the finest steak houses in Canada. The Keg has some very creative steak entree’s, brilliant cocktails, a variety of Lobster and seafood, Chicken mains and some great appetites too. This place rates quite high with the father and son duo as they are ardent steak lovers.I usually settle for white meat. The atmosphere is quite up scale and eclectic. Most locations around Montreal get fairly quite bust even on weekdays and hence a reservation is always better. This is the Fillet Mignon served with a hollandaise sauce and a Baked Potato with sour cream, chives and bacon bits. A carnivores delight!

 

4. Patio Dining at La Maree: Summer evenings are just perfect for some wine sipping or people watching and sitting around one of the patios in old Montreal offers just that. Amid the back drop of the old architecture ,many patios and restaurants dot the streets of old Montreal.The old town is indeed one of the most vibrant and historic parts of the city. We choose La Maree one evening and enjoyed our dinner and drinks at this lovely French restaurant. They have a fixed menu for dinner and drinks with a reasonanble selection Chicken, Meat and seafood entrees, salads and soups and appetisers too. Not a very gastronomic fare but certainly good food at reasonable prices. Located at Place Jacques -Cartier Montreal.

5.Cafe Bistro El Mundo: This corner eatery located on Avenue du Parc has a great selection of breakfast menu’s, coffee and tea and a fairly great variety of sandwiches, soups and salads.It’s the perfect hot spot for a quick bite for college goers, locals and tourists as well. I love sitting by the window seats with my coffee and sandwich and watching the world go by.

6. La Creperie Du Marche: Another gem of a place located in the heart of Marche Du Jean talon is this wonderful Creperie. They are open all through the year and have an amazing selection of organic and gluten free options. All of their crepes are made with gluten free flours such as buckwheat, rice flour, chick pea flour etc.They offer an assortment of savoury crepes such as the Spinach and goat cheese, mushroom and ham or eggs and ham if you like. The sweet crepes leave you wanting for more. The berries with whipped cream, apple and maple butter and chestnut cream are some decadent ones on offer.

7.Les Moulins La Fayette: And saving the best for last I suppose, is my absolutely fav coffee and pastry cafe. Well if you are a french pastry lover as I am this place will hit the sweet spot and satiate even the most relentless sugar craving.They have a great selection of French style single  pastries  like the Chantilly Cream Eclairs,Macrons, Paris Brest and Opera cakes to name a few. The cafe also serves up some great Viennoiserie which include croissants, muffins and cookies and an assortment of freshly baked artisanal breads. They have a fairly decent fare with a selection of sandwiches, soups and salads as well. Conveniently located near Place de Arms. I love indulging in their pastries and coffee’s especially the Trilogie au Chocolat is absolutely sublime. This place is truly a Gastronomy for connoisseurs of fine foods or so the story goes.

Well that’s it folks. Guess I’ve summed up some our favourite eats around the city.Montreal has been home, well at least for the dear son these past five years and almost ours too. We have cherished every memory during our visits and treasure them in our hearts forever. I have enjoyed every bit of Montreal over the years and the city sure exudes a vibrant, rich and diverse culture that reflects in it’s cuisine. If there is one possible must eat that I may have missed out on is the ever popular “Poutine”. Ah well!

Enough said and written. I do hope I have lured you into visiting Montreal for it Must Eats

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